A 72-year-old grandfather had a lucky escape after a JCB was knocked off a trailer into incoming traffic at the A325 Wrecclesham Road railway bridge on Tuesday morning.
In the latest near-miss at Wrecclesham’s notorious bridge, the cabin of one of three heavy plant vehicles being carried by an HGV struck a protective boom on the northern side of the bridge just after 9am.
David Cole, a long-time Wrecclesham resident, was driving under the bridge in the opposite direction at the same moment and described a “sudden massive noise” before his car was showered in glass and bright green hydraulic fluid.
He swerved his car into the kerb and came to a halt just as a bright yellow JCB spun off the HGV’s trailer into the adjacent carriageway a few metres behind him.
No-one was injured in the incident. But Mr Cole said had he passed under the bridge a second later, there is a good chance he would have been trapped under the JCB.
A spokesman for Surrey Police confirmed it was made aware of the bridge strike at 9.05am and “several officers are in attendance dealing with road closures”.
It is understood the first police officers arrived on the scene at around 9.30am, after Network Rail safety inspectors.
The police confirmed the driver of the HGV was not injured, and Wrecclesham Road would remain closed up to the Cricketers/Bengal Lounge until the HGV and heavy plant could be recovered.
Weydon Lane was also closed to traffic, with access only to the trading estate from the Bengal Lounge end.
It comes after another HGV hit the bridge and overturned in July, crushing a car and trapping its female driver inside. The woman was taken to hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries.
Surrey County Council has since come under fire for failing to take decisive action to prevent bridge strikes on the A325 in Wrecclesham.
Read more about the latest bridge strike in Wrecclesham in this Thursday’s Herald.